Vis-a-vis with Marsha Bradfield

What to expect?

During the 45 minute session you will have the opportunity to work one on one with Marsha, ask her questions and address the challenges you face in your practice.

Who can apply?

I welcome all practitioners to my practice review, especially those who are working in ways that may not fit neatly into a 2D portfolio case or sit easily on top of a plinth. These unruly practices unfold through diverse types of exchange: among people, formats, materials, contexts and more. Sometimes this way of working is embraced by people who are untrained as artists. Other times, unruly practice is the result of artists growing restless in art education or the worlds of art. Whatever the reason and whoever the practitioner, unruly practice tends to embody worlds of entanglement that overcome specialisation and insularity.

Art as an expanded field depends on challenging conventions and breaking bias. Holding fast to these commitments, I welcome this Practice Review as an opportunity to work with portfolio within the RESET format as an emerging platform for visual culture. Central here will the capacity to support transdisciplinary activity while considering heterogenous ways of working and becoming.

This chimes with my preoccupation with the avant-garde ideal of merging art and life. I am increasingly drawn to both producing and advocating for practices that are somehow both useless (as in Art with a capital ‘A’) and useful (because they go beyond being symbolic). This is part of a growing body of critical and creative activity that includes Arte Útil, Usership, Post-artistic Practice, The Interdependent and Incidental Unit.

I am a founding member of Incidental Unit, which is the third iteration of Artist Placement Group, one of the UK’s most critically acclaimed cultural networks. Founded by Barbara Steveni and others in 1966, Artist Placement Group wrestled with the value of art to champion its potential beyond the studio, the gallery, the auction house and other sites of the art world. This began with placing artists in extra-artistic contexts. Artist Placement Group’s exceptional experiments took place in administration (government departments and public policy), industry (manufacturing and technology), commercial enterprise (trade and urban renewal) and beyond. Further to a six-stop UK tour this year, Incidental Unit seeks to understand the long-term impact of Artist Placement Group on contemporary practice as well as convene practices that carry its mutant DNA.

My work with Incidental Unit builds on my collaboration with Critical Practice Research Cluster  (2006 – ongoing) and my researching and lecturing at University of the Arts London, where I straddle Fine Arts (BA, MA, PhD) and Design (Interior and Spatial Design, BA and PhD). At present I’m Stage Three Year Leader on Drawing at Camberwell College of Arts and am a researcher on a project about experience-based learning at Central Saint Martins.


Marsha Bradfield rides the hyphen as an archivist-artist-curator-director-educator- researcher-writer. Interdependence is the red thread that stitches together this cultural production. Bradfield’s international practice explores this theme variously, most recently vis-à-vis ‘the work of art and/as the art of work’. She is fascinated by plural ontologies, especially creative practices that are both useless and useful. Bradfield works with groups including Incidental Unit and co-curated Incidental Futures, its first public programme of events (2019). Collaborations like this often yield insights that Bradfield develops into accounts, alphabets, drawings, events, lectures, performances, publications, sculptures, sites, situations, sounds, systems, traces, walks, websites and more. In 2015 Bradfield founded Artfield Projects to provide cultural services and practice-based research. This builds on her work co-directing Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre (2013-2018). Born in South Africa and raised in Canada, Bradfield has been based in the UK since 2006 and affiliated with the University of the Arts London as a fellow, lecturer and researcher.

Vis-a-vis with Marsha Bradfield


Conversation with the artist.

  • Artist Placement Group
  • expanded practice
  • messy methods
  • transdisciplinarity
  • useful & useless